Plenty of people find it not too difficult to install laminate flooring themselves. It’s not really all that complicated, especially if you use the planks that come with the glueless locking system. It can be a fun project, plus you save the cost of having the installation done professionally.
It’s basically a simple process of laying the planks down on the floor. However, it’s very common to find that when you reach the edge of the floor that meets the wall, the original size of the planks won’t fit. That means you’ll have to cut the planks down to size to fit against the wall.
For that, you will need a laminate floor cutter. This is a cutting tool that’s specifically designed for laminate flooring planks. While you can use other alternatives like power saws, they aren’t as good when it comes to cutting laminated flooring planks.
Which leads us to the natural question: what is the best laminate floor cutter for you to use? Of course, you have to consider the price. Some laminate floor cutters are quite expensive, but then that’s probably because they’re meant for commercial use.
Laminate floor cutters are just like any other type of consumer product, and that means brand reputation plays a part. It’s like going with a Rolex when you’re buying a watch, or picking a Mercedes Benz for your car. You know you’re getting a good product, simply because of the brand name.
Generally, famous brands that have earned a reputation for excellence would rather not come out with any product that would tarnish that reputation. That would make people more suspicious of their other products. The same goes with the manufacturer of cutting tools. It’s always best to go with the more famous brands.
When you’re picking among the various laminate floor cutters, check out the brand name and do some research online. How is the brand perceived in the DIY community? How long has the brand been up and running? How popular are their products? Find the answers to these questions to give you some idea.
Try brands such as SKIL, EAB, Bullet Tools, Roberts, and Norske. In addition, the more famous brands are also more likely to honor their warranty promises. An unknown brand may just take your money and run, after sending you a defective tool.
Manual vs Electric
The manual version comes with a long handle, which you pull down to chop the planks to size. These models tend to be very affordable. Also, you won’t have to be within cord distance of a plug outlet.
But manual cutters are only good for home use, as they’re a bit on the slow side. If you’re cutting plots of planks, then go with the electric models instead. They may be more expensive, but they’re also easier to use and you don’t waste time. Also, you don’t have to be strong enough to exert ample force.
How much do you need to cut? Here, you need to consider the width and thickness of the planks. The greater cutting capacity you have, the more options you have when it comes to cutting laminate flooring planks.
If you’re planning on getting a particular laminate flooring option, then get the width and thickness dimensions. Then check the specs of the cutter, and make sure that the cutting capacity at least matches the plank dimensions.
Better yet, get a bit of leeway with the cutting capacity. If you have planks that are 7 inches wide, then go with a cutting capacity of 9 inches. If your planks are ⅝ of an inch thick, then try to get a cutter than can go for ¾ of an inch.
The cutting width of these cutters can go from 7 inches to 25 inches. But keep in mind that when you go with the 25 inches, the cutter will be considerably heavier and bulkier, and also a lot more expensive.
You get an easier time cutting the planks to size when you have a blade made from high quality steel. Go with some high carbon steel, as that offers good edge retention so you don’t have to replace the blade too frequently.
If you live in a high-humidity area, then you might also want to think about going with corrosion-resistant stainless-steel blades.
Types of Cuts Allowed
Some of the more basic models offer only the standard cross-section cuts. But you can get other cutters that offer angled bevel cuts.
Ease of Use
This is the catchall factor that takes into lots of little things. You should consider how easy it is for you to make accurate cuts. Check if you don’t find it too difficult to make blade replacements. Make sure that the cutter isn’t too big or too heavy for you.
With all these factors in mind, you should then be able to get a good laminate floor cutter that really fits your needs.